While the official grand opening is a month or so away, store manager Deanna Runge unlocked the doors at 4a.m. to start serving customers. Gary McFalls took the honor of being the first to buy breakfast, grabbing a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich on his way to work.
“It’s a soft opening.” said Runge. “The other new Dysart’s in Old Town hasn’t had their grand opening yet, so ours will be after that.” The business is expecting to advertise in the papers starting next week, but for now is relying on word-of-mouth advertising as they ramp up the operation.Runge is no stranger to the Lincoln area. She drove a school bus for the district for ten years, before taking a job driving bus for Cyr in Old Town two years ago. She plans to continue some driving for the bus line, although she traded the yellow school bus for a tour bus.
“That’s how I get to visit other places – driving tours to places like Boston and Washington, D.C.,” she said.
Two other employees were helping man the store this morning. Lynn McFalls was busy cooking breakfast sandwiches, while Dianna Carey scurried around making last minute preparations like topping off the coffee dispensers. Carey has been working at the Old Town location, and brought that experience up to help launch the store in Lincoln.In all the new Dysart’s has seven employees on their roster. Dick Curtis, Ursula Goding, Anna Welch, and Wanda Tash will be joining today’s crew in manning the store going forward. They will run the convenience store side of the business from 4a.m.-8p.m. daily, while the pumps will be open 24 hours a day.
With the opening Dysart’s becomes the 7th gas station in Lincoln, and with Why Not Stop and Irving on West Broadway as their closest competitors. It seems they are determined to come out swinging, since their price for regular unleaded was $3.40 per gallon, five cents below their competition. And their pumps offer a feature that neither of the other establishments have: a bill slot. While the machines don’t make change, they do allow for customers to pay with cash even when the convenience store is closed.